Olympic National Park is huge with many disparate parts including coastal, forest, and mountain ecosystems. There are no roads through the park, making it a great place for back country hiking. Washington Highway 101 encompasses the park. You drive on it to reach the different areas of the park
Tom, John, and I visited Olympic National Park years ago and spent five days seeing the different parts of the park. Johnny, Val, Tom and I only had a day so we had to make the most of it.
Sol Duc Falls is a more developed section of the park: it has a “resort” and a campground. They looked a little rundown but we didn’t have time to really check them out. The resort offers three hot mineral springs soaking pools and one fresh water pool.
But we were mostly interested in Sol Duc Falls. From the parking lot we followed a one mile trail through old-growth forest. It is a beautiful trail by itself but the payoff is the roaring waterfall at the end. The Sol Duc River turns and tumbles down three (four when high) channels cut into the rocks. Then it falls into a deep channel dug by the cascading water.
We looked at Sol Suc Falls From every angle. A lovely wooden bridge crosses the river just downstream of the Falls. Several viewing platforms allow people to take pictures of the Falls and of themselves in front of the Falls. It was easier to see things in the days before selfies – sigh. A couple of people even climbed out onto the rocks to get better pictures despite warning signs all over the place.
Sol Duc Falls is a beautiful part of Olympic National Park and I am glad we were able to see it again. We drove by Crescent Lake as the sun began to set. If you want to stay at a lodge in the park, I would recommend one of those. If you go to Olympic, put Sol Duc Falls on your list, but try to visit for more than just one day.